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Economic Contributions of the Virginia Seafood Industry - Infographic



Authors as Published

Fernando H. Gonçalves, Research Scientist, Center for Coastal Studies Affiliate Faculty, Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture Affiliate Faculty, Virginia Seafood AREC, Virginia Tech; Jonathan van Senten, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Center for Coastal Studies Affiliate Faculty, Virginia Seafood AREC, Virginia Tech; Michael H. Schwarz, Center for Coastal Studies Affiliate Faculty, Director of the Virginia Seafood AREC, Virginia Tech; Shraddha Hegde, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Texas A&M University.

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Virginia has a long history and tradition of working waterfronts and maritime economic activity. The seafood industry is organized into different levels of the supply chain from producers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers. Many of these businesses engage in commercial activities with one another and rely on additional goods produced and services provided by other entities in Virginia for their continued survival and success. The present study is focused on estimating the overall direct, indirect, and induced effects of the Virginia seafood industry in 2019 utilizing primary expenditure data obtained by surveying industry stakeholders.

The primary data on expenditures from watermen, aquaculture farmers, processors, and distributors needed for the economic contribution analysis were collected through an online survey deployed using Qualtrics. The development and execution of the economic impact model used the IMPLAN online system and the analysis-by-parts approach. We created customized expenditure patterns in Microsoft Excel; developing standardized enterprise budgets for watermen, aquaculture farmers, processors, and distributors of the Virginia seafood industry. The expenditures of these activities were converted into spending coefficients and coded by the appropriate North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sector codes. The coded expenditure patterns were then imported into the IMPLAN online system, relevant models were created, and those models were run and analyzed.

The total economic output effect of the Virginia seafood industry was estimated at $1.1 billion in 2019. The total employment effect of the Virginia seafood industry was estimated to benefit 7,187 people; with a direct effect of 6,050 jobs, indirect effect of 523 jobs, and induced effect of 614 jobs. Retail and restaurant services were not included in this analysis. The Virginia seafood industry supports a wide variety of other economic sectors (64% of 546 industries), from polystyrene foam product manufacturing, boat building, sporting and athletic goods manufacturing, commercial and industrial machinery, and equipment repair and maintenance through direct expenditures by seafood businesses. Non-depository credit intermediation, owner-occupied dwellings, and real estate sectors are supported as wages and salaries paid to employees throughout the seafood supply chain multiply in Virginia`s economy. The estimates presented are conservative and likely underestimating the economic contributions of the Virginia seafood industry in 2019. The response rate was the primary limitation of this analysis, and a potential cause of under-estimated activity expenditures. In addition, the economic impact estimated in this study was confined to activities and expenditures within the state of Virginia. Despite the conservative numbers, the models generated by the primary data collected directly from the industry are relevant and provide a snapshot of the valuable economic contributions and employment opportunities supported by the Virginia seafood industry in 2019.

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Publication Date

November 23, 2022